New survey maps Nanaimo’s tech sector

NANAIMO – Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation and Innovation Island are partnering on a new $18,000 tech survey

  • Sep. 28, 2013 5:00 a.m.

A new $18,000 economic survey will test the strength of Nanaimo’s technology sector.

The Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation and Innovation Island are partnering on a new technology survey that will peg down the scope of the sector, the jobs it generates and economic spinoffs.

The initiative is part of the economic corporation’s effort to collect benchmark information on different  sectors in the Harbour City so it can promote growth. It recently collected information on the economic benefits of arts and culture. The results of the estimated $19,000 survey is expected this October.

“[The survey is] part of … making sure we have good baseline information around the technology sector, so we can see where their needs are and how we can help them grow,” said Sasha Angus, CEO of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation. “When we get the data back I think [we are going] to be surprised about the amount of tech activity and knowledge-based jobs there are in the community.”

The study is also anticipated to look at where the technology sector is sending their products and services. Angus said the information will help the corporation figure out where and how it should invest resources to help local businesses. The data will be shared with Innovation Island, which also supports growth among technology companies.

Nordicity, a Canadian company, will be conducting the survey.

A third economic impact study – on tourism – could happen after the look at the technology sector wraps up.

“This is not something we are going to do every year. It’s information that hasn’t been collected in a long time, some has never been collected,” Angus said. “We want to set a benchmark and then in the future see if our effects have been successful in growing the sectors.”

Technology professionals are invited to a sector meet up on Monday (Sept. 30) from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Fibber Magees to provide input to the project.